Nepal set to double tiger population under WWF global plan

Nepal is set to become the first country to double its tiger population as part of the World Wildlife Foundation’s (WWF) “Tx2” programme which aims to double the number of tigers all over the world.

Nepal’s tiger population rose to 235 from 121 in 2009, the WWF said in a statement released on Sunday to commemorate World National Conservation Day.

With four years remaining before the 2022 deadline, Nepal looks set to achieve its goal.

Nepal’s Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Bishwa Nath Oli, said protecing “tigers is a top priority of the government”.

There are nine subspecies of tigers, three of which are extinct [Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo]

Nepal conducted a national tiger survey between November 2017 and April 2018.

The growing numbers signal a “successful implementation” of conservation efforts, the release quoted Oli as saying.

The Tx2 programme aims to double the world tiger population by 2022, which is the year of the tiger in the Chinese calendar.

“This significant increase in Nepal’s tiger population is proof that when we work together, we can save the planet’s wildlife – even species facing extinction,” Leonardo DiCaprio, WWF-US board member and chairman of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which has funded tiger conservation in Nepal’s Bardia National Park and elsewhere since 2010.

Declining population 

Thirteen countries with tiger ranges agreed to the plan, which hinges on “encouraging trans-boundary collaboration” to achieve increased protections and maintain habitats for the endangered creatures.

According to the WWF’s Tx2 website, there could have been over 100,000 tigers roaming the world a century ago.

Numerous factors, including poaching and habitat loss, led to the decline in numbers.

By 2010, as few as 3,200 were left, the WWF’s website says.

Of the 13 countries with tiger ranges, India has the most – 2226 as of 2016. Russia and Indonesia had 433 and 371, respecitvely.

China had less than five and Vietnam less than seven in 2016.

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